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Made By Girls: what does the word ‘power’ really mean to girls in 2018?

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On International Day of the Girl, stylist.co.uk relocated to Blenheim High School. There, a team of brilliant and opinionated girls aged 11 to 16 took over the website to have their say on the issues that matters most to them…

Any Friends fan worth their salt will tell you that it’s a cliché to introduce an article or a speech using a dictionary definition. However, there is no denying that words have power – which is a topic that’s very close to our hearts on International Day of the Girl.

Somewhat confusingly, though, Merriam-Webster has a number of different definitions for ‘power’. It’s the “ability to act or produce an effect”, and “the possession of control, authority, or influence over others”, and a force of “physical might”.

It is also, in its most archaic sense, a “force of armed men”.

The year is 2018, though, and the world is now a very different place. Indeed, we believe that the word ‘power’ could and should belong to everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, religion or gender – something which we made very clear in our Made By Girls takeover, when we asked a group of brilliant young women to take over stylist.co.uk.

With this in mind, we asked our team of girls what the word ‘power’ means to them – and how it makes them feel when they hear it. And their answers were incredibly insightful…

Neerdha (age 11):

Made by girls

“To me, power is about ruling something. To take charge of something. Managing your own dreams.”

Scarlett (age 11):

made By Girls

“I feel powerful when I listen to music. I love Bebe Rexha.”

Joely (age 12):

Made by girls

“Power means standing up for what you believe in, and inspiring change in the world.”

Danielle (age 16):

Made by girls

“Power is feeling good in your own skin.”

Sarah (age 12):

Made by girls

“Power means strength. If I fell down a cliff, I could get back up on my feet and save myself.”

Paulina (age 11):

“If you have the power to get something, you can help others. Helping others makes me feel powerful.”

Mia (age 11):

Made by girls

“Power means that I can wear what I want, say what I want, and not be told what to do. And when you know how to box [Mia is a keen boxer], it makes you feel powerful.”

Louisa (age 15):

Made by girls

“Power, to me, means feeling able to do anything. I feel powerful when people encourage me and say you can do anything.”

Mollie (age 15):

“Power means feeling strong in yourself. It’s about confidence. I feel powerful when it’s a good day. When you have the right people around you. My best friend Harriet always props me up.”

You can see more of Stylist’s Made By Girls content here.

Images: Alessia Armenise